Letter to the Editor: The time is now to make the fundamental right to marry available to same-sex couples

There remains great controversy over the matter of same-sex marriage equality, and even our U.S. Supreme Court justices are apprehensive.

We are a nation defined by diversity and inclusion, yet we still try to deny people basic rights others are not able to retain. In the April 28 hearing, the justices used history as a reason against nationalizing same-sex marriage equality. But it is our country’s obligation, obviously, to strive to be on the right side of history.

The very notion that same-sex couples are unable to procreate and therefore should not be entitled to marry is preposterous. Would one rather a child go through the foster care system, rather than be raised in a loving home with two adult role models? Science has shown, from various studies, that there exists no conflicts in same-sex couples raising children. Evidence has been especially conclusive from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Yes, states should have and even deserve sovereignty. The 10th Amendment of our Constitution lays this foundation beyond doubt. But not when it prohibits all Americans from exercising their full rights guaranteed in other parts under the Constitution.

Please, if you will, look especially to Article III, granting the highest level of judicial power to the Supreme Court. Next, how about Article IV? It explicitly states: “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.”

Let’s now move on to the Bill of Rights. The Ninth Amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Are we not doing these exact things in denying same-sex couples to come together and share in the benefits and protections of marriage? As the 14th Amendment says, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” How much clearer could it possibly get?

For goodness sake. Please, we must unite together. Let’s advocate on behalf of our gay brothers and sisters in today’s civil rights movement, just as we came together for the African-American community.

There is a legitimate reason for concern among ourselves and the Supreme Court justices. But, I believe that on this very matter, as was the case for Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, we must look to the judicial branch and courts to establish fundamental rights, because sometimes “of and by the people” simply does not work in practice.

I hope deep down, the justices will come together and issue a decision that will truly be landmark in all meanings of the word. I pray that these nine appointed individuals use their judgment wisely and in order to propel the United States forward for generations to come.

Josh Lehrer is a junior at Case Western Reserve University.